This is the best art I’ve ever made.
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This is the best art I’ve ever made.
We finally completed the monument yesterday.
Right now it feels like a monument to perseverance.
11 days after we were told to remove it from the gallery it now stands in a field in Madison County.
We worked through bitter cold, snow, and plenty of mud.
January is the worst time to do an outdoor installation of this scale.
This whole experience has turned my life upside down. I’m exhausted. I’ve had to cancel other plans to work on this project. Instead of beginning the year rested, I’m tired and behind schedule.
I had to do it though. This work is too important. We had to build this piece. It’s our responsibility to all the people who made it.
When I packed everything up from the gallery 11 days ago it was so unbelievably sad. I knew the only way that I could heal myself and do justice to this work was to build it in a field. Somewhere free and the exact opposite of the gallery setting. That would be the antidote to everything that had just happened to me.
So here it is. The vision is manifest. My side of the bargain upheld.
Many thanks to all the wonderful folks at Woodson Branch and to everyone who came out to help with the installation.
We will be scheduling an opening reception for this work at some point in March. Keep your eyes peeled for more details.
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A line made by tractoring.
I’ve always appreciated Richard Long’s work.
I’ve always tried to be conscious of the marks I make as an artist. Especially the ones on the earth.
I love the line quality of this mark. How bold it is. The way it draws your eye through the landscape to the tractor and the monument.
It won’t last much longer because today I’m going to grade it back out and reseed it. Returning it to the way it was before we came.
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Here is the time lapse from Friday.
We finished the brick work right as the sun went down. Now for a day of clean up and the monument is complete. Thanks to Tom Ashcraft, Heather Mae Erickson and all the WCU catamounts who came out to help.
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Monument to place.
The snow doesn’t make things easier but it sure does make them more beautiful.
We will finish this piece on Friday.
Thanks again to @laurenrutten For braving the cold to make this image.
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It’s officially too cold to work on the Monument. Everything is wrapped in blankets and covered in straw bales for the next 2 days.
BUT WE WILL BE BACK AT IT ON FRIDAY!
The weather is supposed to be in the 50’s. Anyone who wants to help is welcomed and encouraged. We’ve got a van load of students coming from Western Carolina University but you can never have enough hands to help on a project like this
Message me for details or just come!
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I’ll be honest… installing a 13 foot tall chimney monument in a Madison County field during the middle of January isn’t exactly what I had planned on doing…. but I’m making the most of it. The best thing is that I don’t get cell reception, so I can ignore the world and just focus on the project.
We got bricks laid just path the fireplace today. I pushed as hard as I could.
Then the cold rolled in hard.
We had to use the weed burner to try and dry out the clay/sand mortar at the end of the day. And then we covered the whole thing in straw bails to try and stop it from freezing so bad. No work tomorrow. The temperature is supposed to be a height of 20 Fahrenheit. Too cold for brick laying that’s for sure.
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It’s been a series of really fridge mornings the past few days. I’ve wake up long before the dawn. Get the woodstove going again. Drink my coffee. Poke the logs around and compose my thoughts.
Then I head to work.
One the sun comes up you can see how frosty all the bricks are. It doesn’t make it easy but I think it’s important to notice that it is beautiful
Then I look over the mountains and am glad that I get to work on this field for the day.
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Sometimes it feels hard to explain with words how important this work is too me. Hopefully this video helps.
If I was too say something, it would be that this is the most significant work I’ve made in my career to this point.
I hope people can recognize that.
I hope they know there is a reason why I’ve been waking up before the sun for days now to move everything to this field.
It’s because I care. It’s because this matters, even though it might seem insane, it matters more than they will probably ever know.
If anyone needs me or wants to help. Just come out. We will be laying bricks all day. My phone doesn’t work on site. Which is nice.
#oldmarshalljailbrickproject #buildingcommunityproject #communitybrick #communitybrickproject #apotterslife #bighousebrickcompany
As many of you already know, I was not allowed to install the Monument to Place installation at the Center for Craft Creativity and Design.
This was not my fault or my decision. It was devastating.
This video shows the process of bringing in all the materials, setting up the form and then removing everything over the course of 2 days.
This is the type of event that can crippled a person, especially a creative who feels such deep devotion to their work.
I also feel a sense of responsibility to the bricks. I facilitated this project but the people of this world made it. We moved 1500 bricks into the gallery… that 1500 unique voices. Every brick is a person and when I touch the bricks I’m reminded of the people who made them.
So… instead of letting this destroy me, it’s only deepened my resolve. The Monument is currently being built in a field in Madison County. The installation will be temporarily installed at the Woodson Branch Nature School. You can see it from 25/70. It’s adjacent to the DT Ramsey Sawmill property.
It’s a perfect place.
I’ll be sharing more about the new location and installation process in the coming days. In the meantime, stay warm my friends. Thanks for all your kind words and support.
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